Originally published in The Hudson Reporter
How far is too far away when you’re dating someone?
Hello readers and welcome back! I hope you all had a great unofficial “first weekend of summer.” So now that people are renting shore houses and are meeting people from all over, I thought it was a good time to find out: When you meet someone whom you’d like to see again, how far away is too far for them to live?
I’ve been soliciting responses from all over the tri-state area, and frankly I’m surprised at most of the answers. It turns out that the average “dealbreaker” time is 45 minutes away. Now, everyone was throwing caveats all over the place: “Depends how hot he is,” “Dating seriously or just booty calling?,” “I’d have to see how the, uh, chemistry is,” etc… But on the average it seems that three-quarters of an hour is about where you start wondering if it’s really worth it.
Now obviously it makes a difference if you have your own car versus using public transportation. And it also depends on how the traffic is in your area.
I asked Jim from Bayonne if it made a difference whether or not he was driving, and after thinking for a minute, he said, “No; it’s not the distance, it’s the time.” I can totally understand that. Living in Jersey, there are those times late at night when the object of your desire has asked you to please vacate the premises and you let out a long exhale knowing you’re got an hour, minimum, before you get home. Even if it’s sitting on the subway reading the paper, the time starts to weigh on you.
Recently my friend Derek in NYC broke up with his latest ladyfriend. He lived in Astoria, Queens and she lived in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. It’s only 10 miles apart, yet having to take the subway, he said, made it like an hour and a half ride. They would argue constantly over where to spend the night, and it definitely contributed to the breakup.
He joked that he might as well have been dating someone in Philly for the time it took him.
I even used to have a friend who lived on the Upper East Side and wouldn’t date women below a certain street because it took too long to get home.
Is 45 minutes that bad?
So how far away exactly is 45 minutes? Distance-wise, it may not be that far. I started measuring from Hoboken. If you use public transportation, you can make it to the southern edge of Central Park in Manhattan and can just barely scoot over into the fringes of Queens and Brooklyn. If you go west on public transit, you can pull into Newark, and north will almost bring you into Edgewater. This is only a radius of about seven miles by car, though! Someone in shape could run that in little over an hour!
But I am with all of you. A long subway ride may just involve sitting down, but it does become exhausting and drains you.
If you own a car, then with no traffic, your radius extends to Tarrytown in the north, Hicksville, L.I. to the east, Morristown to the west, and Perth Amboy to the south. If you’re in North Bergen, you get Fort Lee. Bayonne gets S.I. and can even make it to the northern side of the Jersey Shore! Of course, this is with NO TRAFFIC, which never happens.
I remember feeling petty about this when I met a girl who lived in Alphabet City. It’s right across the river and not even far north or south, but it took over an hour to get back and forth at night. Then I started to realize that growing up in Syracuse, I wouldn’t have dated someone in Rochester. Like Jim said, “It’s not the distance; it’s the time.”
Since then, I didn’t get hung up on whether she lived on 12th Avenue in Manhattan and I could literally see her building from my window; It still took a long time to get there. Some people ask me about what they consider little things in their relationship like: He lives a bit too far, she doesn’t eat sushi, or he doesn’t like my favorite type of music. And really, there is no little thing. Sure, some things are trivial and you can look over them, but if they constantly aggravate you, it matters. Even if others feel you’re giving a simplistic answer for a break-up, follow your own heart. It may even save you some heartbreak!
Read more: Hudson Reporter – Hunt for Advice